How do you distill the spirit of the Monterey Jazz Festival into a single band? Considering the ethos of the annual event, the band was designed to be a celebration of diverse international talent, forward-thinking sensibilities and just plain killin’ performances. For artistic director Tim Jackson, that was the task at hand in 2018, marking the festival’s 60th anniversary.
The end result is The Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour. It’s a band of six individually acclaimed performers from the next generation of stars: Cécile McLorin Salvant, vocals; Bria Skonberg, trumpet, vocals; Melissa Aldana, tenor saxophone; Christian Sands, piano and musical director; Yasushi Nakamura, bass, and Jamison Ross, drums, vocals. The band toured through North America in March and April of 2019 and Jazz Night in America captured the band’s stop at Jazz at Lincoln Center, which features original tunes from different members of the band with new accents from project collaborators.
- “Fog” (Cécile McLorin Salvant)
- “I Can’t Help It” (Betty Carter)*
- “Sack Full of Dreams” (Donny Hathaway)*
- “High-Hat Trumpet and Rhythm” (Valaida Snow)
- “Splendor” (Cécile McLorin Salvant)
- “Yasugaloo” (Yasushi Nakamura)
*Radio broadcast only
Cécile McLorin Salvant: voice; Melissa Aldana: tenor saxophone; Bria Skonberg: trumpet and voice; Christian Sands: piano and musical director; Yasushi Nakamura: bass; Jamison Ross: drums and voice.
Producers: Alex Ariff, Justin Bias, Colin Marshall; Concert Recording Engineer: Rob Macomber; Concert Video Director: Joe Lucarro; Videographers: Hiram Becker, Andrew Trost, Brandon Smith; Editor: Jeremiah Rhodes; Project Manager: Suraya Mohamed; Senior Producers: Colin Marshall, Katie Simon; Supervising Editor: Keith Jenkins; Executive Producers: Gabrielle Armand, Anya Grundman; Senior Director of NPR Music: Lauren Onkey; Funded in Part By: The Argus Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Fund, The National Endowment for the Arts, Wyncote Foundation